The date was Sunday, May 18th, 2014. The salty California air was thick with anxious excitement at New Heart Community Church. It was 14 long weeks since Pastor Danny Cortez dropped a bomb on his congregation with the revelation of his 3-year journey towards a reversal in his stance on homosexuality. That night was the night parishioners gather to decide his fate. Should they uphold their long standing position on homosexuality or cause a church split alienating themselves from their denomination? Should they continue to reject people who choose to live in homosexual relationships or extend them acceptance into their fellowship?
I want Pastor Cortez to share with you, himself, “the bomb” he dropped on his congregation 14 weeks prior. But I want you to hear the whole thing. It’s 60 minutes long. If you don’t have an hour to watch this video right now, I ask that you not go any future until you have the time to watch it. I promise you, it will be worth it.
Pastor Danny Cortez:
Homosexuality isn’t going away. There is no question that “gay agendas” are permeating the world around us. In the coming years, same sex marriages will be legalized across the country followed shortly by the rest of world. The monopoly of the “traditional” family will be no more.
This of course is no shocker to Christians. Sadly, most of us live in an “us” and “them” world with an “in” and “out” mentality. We view the world around us as inherently evil and headed towards destruction and go to great lengths to separate ourselves from it. It’s almost like the worse it gets the better we feel. But on the issue of homosexuality, something interesting is happening. The “in” crowd is starting to come “out” and (hopefully) the “out” crowd is starting to come “in.” With good cause, Christians in even the most conservative circles are starting to question the traditional stance on homosexuality.
We’ve been so lazy on this issue, simply regurgitating what has been passed down to us from generation to generation. My stomach turned as I listened to Pastor Danny describe how we’ve taken the Bible, read it through Western eyes and spit out our perverted version to the world. This should not be.
I too have read these passages Pastor Danny mentioned at face value. It’s obvious homosexuality is a sin, right? It says right there in Romans. I HATE to say this because I feel like I’ve come so far in Jesus’ one-step treatment program but deep down inside, I’m still afraid of homosexuals. Since I was a kid I was taught that homosexuality was a heinous sin. That God invented AIDS as retribution for gay people and once we found a cure for AIDS God would invent something else. I’d like to look back and say we’ve come a long way since then but we simply haven’t. Thankfully God is starting to open my eyes to the way He sees people. I’m starting to get it.
Ask yourself, what if Pastor Danny and many other people who have studied these texts in detail are right in their conclusions? What if Paul is referring to Caligula? What if the word we’ve interpreted as “homosexual” in the Bible means what Luther thought: “boy abusers”? What if God loves and accepts a homosexual the same way he does a straights? If these things are true, than what have we done in Jesus’ name? Rater then Christians struggling with tough questions like this, historically we’ve shoved our fingers in our ears and sang Kumbaya. Changing course is no joke:
“What will be said is we have to guard the purity of the church. We have to remain strong. We have to look at God’s word and not compromise. Then I think about Jesus who was the most morally pure person I can ever think of. And he didn’t create walls of separation. He didn’t do that. What he did was he went to their homes. He went to their fricken homes.” – Pastor Danny Cortez
For anyone who thinks they have this figured out, I LOVE what Pastor Danny said in this video:
“I caution you to realize that it’s so easy to look at the Word of God and merely look at the letter of the law. But there is something underneath it at a deeper current that is only understood by the Spirit, moved by love, and drawn into compassion. Our thoughts can’t be just about arguing the Biblical texts. It must be understood in the context of love and that means in the context of real human relationships. Because compassion is what gives clarity to this matter.” – Pastor Danny Cortez
With the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention only days away, I fear their retribution for Pastor Danny and his church will only serve to further isolate God from the people He loves. I personally am not ready to jump full heartedly on the “Gay is OK” bandwagon but I’m praying one day I too can join the ranks of Pastor Danny in imparting life into the homosexual community, not because I feel they need to get right with God but because God loves them and accepts them just as they are.
“For me the the study of God and the way I find truth is no longer trying to find the best arguments, the best books, the best scholarly research. It’s about looking at Jesus and the way he lived his life and finding the Kingdom of God in the things that people deemed worthless and the people who are most broken.” – Pastor Danny Cortez
Here’s the truth, fellow Christians. Homosexuality is coming to a church near you (and by this I mean your church). There is no stopping it. There is no hiding from it. You don’t have to agree with Pastor Danny or anyone else who have been able to come to peace with it. However if you’re going to continue standing against it, you better be darn sure you have good cause to do so. It’s hard to swim with a millstone around your neck.
Pastor Danny, here starts my three year journey. I hope to meet you in the “third way.”
– One whom you’ve inpisred